Pick of The Week
 
 

A Loop Pops Up (August 7, 2003)


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A thin and looping solar prominence in extreme ultraviolet light (ionized helium at 304) is seen rising above the Sun's edge in a bulbous fashion, then dissipating on 31 July 2002. The action lasts about eight hours. Prominences are huge clouds of relatively cool, dense plasma suspended in the Sun's hot, tenuous corona. Magnetic fields built up enormous forces that propelled these particles out beyond the Sun's surface into the corona. Emission in this spectral line shows the upper chromosphere at a temperature of about 60,000 degrees K. For a sense of scale, the prominence at its furthest reach extended about 15 Earths out from the Sun.

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